Ypsilanti’s After Hours Radio will officially sign off this week.
After five years, the progressive groove-heavy indie rock trio of Nate Erickson (guitar, vocals), Greg Hughes (bass) and Mark Dunne (drums) will call it quits and perform their final shows tomorrow in Ypsi and Friday in Bowling Green, Ohio.
“We had a lot to celebrate this year with our five-year anniversary and the brief return of our original lead singer, Calum Galt. No matter how successful a band can be with longevity, ultimately, there are going to be some challenges on an interpersonal level between people,” said Hughes, co-founder of After Hours Radio.
“There have been a lot of changes in our lives as well as ideas about how we want to approach being in the band and writing songs. We’re just trying to end things so we can explore opportunities that better align with our interests, goals and preferences.”
Hughes co-founded After Hours Radio with Erickson in 2014 after performing at the Nakamura and Luther Buchele co-ops while attending the University of Michigan. Together, they cut their musical teeth at co-op open mic nights and introduced a freeform musical approach that incorporated several genres.
That freeform musical approach resulted in the band’s self-titled debut EP in 2015 and their follow-up EP, “What Happened?,” in 2017. With Hughes and Erickson at the helm, After Hours Radio went through some lineup changes, including several drummers and the recent departure of keyboardist and synth player Jordan Compton, and expanded their sound to include more electronic effects.
Last year, After Hours Radio launched their own do-it-yourself (DIY) music venue, The Late Station, in Ypsi to showcase local emerging artists and musicians across a variety of genres. Bandmates and friends helped promote events, run the door and assist with gear at The Late Station.
“These five years have been a huge growing process and a lot of trial and error. The musical ideas were there from the beginning, but only in the past year or two have I felt like we have had any grasp on how to do this whole ‘band’ thing properly,” Erickson said.
“This split is bittersweet to me, and this band has been the centerpiece of my life for five years. It’s really odd to think that I won’t be playing these songs anymore. It’s also a great opportunity to explore other types of music that I’m interested in and recontextualize all of the things I’ve learned while playing in this band.”
Tomorrow night, After Hours Radio will celebrate the band’s legacy at Ziggy’s, 206 W. Michigan Ave. in Ypsi, and perform with Funkwagon, a Michigan-Vermont gospel-infused funk septet, and Violet Sol, a Detroit area soulful music collective.
“Both these shows were booked before we decided to have the band break up, but they should be pretty fun shows. It’s our first time at Ziggy’s and our last. We’re hoping all the people who know us locally will come out,” Hughes said. “We will still have some of our groovy funky tendencies, so it should be a danceable night overall.”
While the band may be wrapping things up, Hughes and Erickson will continue to pursue different musical projects. Hughes will form a new band that encompasses more of a jazz, funk and reggae sound and play more shows in the near future.
Meanwhile, Erickson will record some new songs he’s recently written and continue mixing and engineering projects for local artists, including Stop Watch, Any Island and Forest Warren.
As for The Late Station, Compton will host a show in September, but no other shows are scheduled beyond that. The venue’s future will be up in the air as the band members pursue other projects.
However, a burning question will linger in fans’ minds – Will the band ever reunite?
“I wouldn’t say that it’s impossible for the band to ever get back together in some capacity. I think we have all reached a point in our lives where we want to take our careers in separate directions,” Erickson said. “I think all of us in After Hours Radio have some promising projects in our future, and it’s too soon to know where everything will land.”
9 p.m. Thursday
Ziggy’s, 206 W. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti
7:30 p.m. Friday
The Summit Shack, 217 E. Evers in Bowling Green, Ohio